Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...

This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.

Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.

Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.

I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.

In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.

I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.

I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281.

until all are free -

MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)


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Friday, February 12, 2010

SB 1070: Call NOW, vote is MONDAY

This via friends in the movement, about the piece of legislation designed to trump local soverignty in the pursuit of all the racists they can get to vote for them - that appears to be the main target audience - and constituency - of some legislators. Anyway, call this weekend and do some kind of visible action in resistance to the bill.

Please forward to your lists also...Thank you

Here is a list of the Republican Senators who need to be called to vote NO on SB 1070, even if you just leave a message, please take a moment to call them!

A group of us spent this morning at the State Legislature, we talked to four Republican Senators,all we need is 3 of them to vote no on SB 1070. One said she will definitely vote no, we only need 2 more... Two (Steve Pierce and Jay Tibshraeny) told us they were "undecided"....there is still time to help this bill die.

Please take a moment to call, here is the list, all of them are Republicans.  Some possible talking points to these Republicans could be....

1) The enormous cost to implement this law in a time of economic strife, cuts in education, we want taxes cut NOT increased because of this bill...
2) Public safety overall will be jeopardized with this bill as local law enforcement will be spending too much time on checking everyone's status rather than responding to emergencies....

3) Incarceration of Parents of U.S. citizen children, will only lead to more people on the welfare system, for the rest of us to take care of.  There is actually a high number of US citizen children with undocumented parents- extracting the bread-winner from the family only puts more strain on the rest of us.

Jay Tibshraeny    602-926-4486   (told us he was undecided)
Steve Pierce        602-926-5584  (told us he was undecided)
Barbara Leff         602-926-4486
Linda Gray            602-926-3376
Al Melvin               602-926-4326
Ron Gould            602-926-4138
Jack Harper         602-926-4178
Sylvia Allen          602-926-5219
Jim Waring           602-926-4916
Bob Burns            602-926-5993
Chuck Gray           602-926-5288
John Huppenthal   602-926-5261
Thayer Verschoor 602-926-4136
Jonathon Paton     602-926-3235
John Nelson     602-926-5872  (I spoke with him in person, he said he knows it is not a good bill, but 70% of his constituents want him to vote yes on it - please call him and tell him you don't want it!)

Please forward to your lists....!

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